YiW Outings

Youth in Wilderness (YiW) offers introductory Wilderness Immersion Outings (Outings) in the Ventana and Silver Peak Wildernesses. Outings come in the form of both overnight backpacking trips and family-friendly nature walks.

The typical duration for an overnight backpacking trip is 3 days/2 nights (partners seeking a longer duration trip are encouraged to inquire). All Outings are meant to be easy, accessible, and fun! All Outings are offered at no cost to participants and all essential backpacking gear, outdoor leadership, and food is provided!

YiW leads two types of overnight Outings that involve backpacking into Wilderness:


Environmental Education 


Environmental Education Outings are dynamic overnight backpacking trips where participants are immersed in nature. Here, the goal is to facilitate a safe, welcoming, and fun introductory experience. Field Instructors emphasize offering participants different ways of relating to the land based on their unique backgrounds, experiences, and passions; encouraging participants to forge their own personal connections to nature.  



Service Trails

Service-Learning Outings are all about giving back to the land that continues to give us so much. These overnight backpacking trips involve exciting inter-program collaborations between VWA field programs (Youth in Wilderness, Trail Crew, and Volunteer Wilderness Rangers). Service-Learning projects include public trails maintenance, invasive species removal, campsite rehabilitation, and trash clean-ups. 


Each of the above-mentioned YiW Outings may include a trip theme as well:

Discovering the Southernmost Redwoods


Did you know the Ventana and Silver Peak Wildernesses are home to the southernmost extent of naturally occuring redwoods in the entire world? Participants have the chance to play amongst these ancient giants while learning all about them and why they need our protection more than ever. YiW's Discovering the Southernmost Redwoods project is funded by Save the Redwoods League - THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!



Wilderness Watersheds

Service Wilderness Watersheds

YiW's Wilderness Watersheds (WW) project emphasizes the importance of healthy backcountry aquatic ecosystems and their connection to our communities and our coast. For example, the headwaters of the mighty Arroyo Seco River begin deep in the northern Santa Lucia mountains, slowly meandering mile after mile, until its waters reach the heart of the Salinas Valley. Here, these waters help grow vast amounts of produce that our community members consume. On WW themed Outings, participants journey through backcountry aquatic ecosystems and conduct stewardship work that benefits their health. Outings end with a stop at a rivermouth on the coast or in our communities to illustrate connectivity firsthand, as well as show the direct impact of the group's stewardship efforts upstream. The Wilderness Watersheds project is funded by the California Coastal Commission's Whale Tail grant program and the State Coastal Conservancy - THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

WT POCO logo withCCCSCC logo




YiW's SHE HIKES Initiative offers all-female overnight backpacking Outings! Click HERE for more information about these empowering trips.

Single-Day Nature Walks

Youth Dayhikes

YiW also offers fun, single-day nature walks. These walks combine the feeling of being deeply immersed in nature with the accessibility of a shorter trip duration and overall distance covered, making them accessible to our younger participants AND family-friendly! They are also executed as preparatory workshops for groups getting ready to embark on their overnight backpacking Outings as well! 



Please contact Daniela Cervantes at  or call 831-423-3191 to learn more about scheduling an outing with Youth in Wilderness!